The following is a boiled-down version of a piece that gut-punched me years ago, written by someone who’s name I cannot recall. The original had the headline, “You Can’t Handle the Truth!” with Jack Nicholson’s picture underneath. It has been moderately expurgated for language and content, but not for intensity.

1. Eat less, if you want to lose weight or see your abs. Nothing else works.

2. Be awesome, if you want to succeed, and once you find out what you can do awesomely, keep on doing it.

3. Don’t be lazy, or at least, don’t complain because you have to eat the fruit of your own laziness.

4. Trash guilt and regret, because they weigh a ton and change nothing.

5. Worry is totally, completely, 100 percent useless. Besides, “90 percent of what we worry about never happens.” (Mark Twain)

6. Quit chasing useless ideas, but never quit chasing your dreams.

7. Always be yourself, mostly because you are the only you in the whole universe.

8. Most success takes a long, long time, and the only people who succeed are those willing to keep doing what needs to be done day after day.

9. Don’t buy what you cannot afford, and by the way, be careful about credit cards, too.

10. Nobody is rooting for you to fail, succeed ... or gripe.

11. There is very little you truly need. “Having food and clothing, let us be thankful.”

12. Everyone lives according to their own rules, not yours, so quit wasting time trying to change other people.

13. Clueless people will probably never know they are clueless, so see the exhortation for #12.

14. Stop trying to convince others you are right. The truth always validates itself.

15. You really can achieve just about anything you want to achieve.

16. Everyone is scared to fail, even your heroes.

17. Most “worst case scenarios” are merely inconvenient, uncomfortable or embarrassing.

Good journey. “I set before you today life and death, blessings and curses. Therefore, choose life!”(Deuteronomy 30:19)

The Rev. Eugene Stockstill is pastor of Ebenezer United Methodist Church and Myrtle United Methodist Church in Union County.

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